- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A new poll shows Americans are split on how President Obama is handling immigration, but that Mr. Obama enjoys support on the issue from key Democratic constituencies.

Forty-two percent favor the immigration policies Mr. Obama outlined in a speech last week and 46 percent oppose them, a CNN/ORC poll said.

On the specific policy that will allow illegal immigrants who have been in the country for at least five years to stay temporarily and apply for a work permit if they have a child who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, 50 percent of Americans say that plan is “about right,” 26 percent say it goes too far, and 22 percent say it doesn’t go far enough.

More than half — 56 percent — disapprove of Mr. Obama’s acting on the issue without Congress, but 60 percent don’t think congressional Republicans should file a lawsuit against the president over the actions.

More than three-quarters of Americans say the GOP should spend more time passing an immigration reform bill, as opposed to working to overturn the president’s policies.

Still, 44 percent approve of how he’s handling the illegal immigration issue overall — actually up 10 points from September — compared to 53 percent who disapprove.

More than three-quarters of Democrats approve of how he’s handling the issue. And nearly two-thirds of nonwhites and 52 percent of people ages 18-34 — demographic groups that tend to lean more Democratic — also approve.

Fifty-six percent of nonwhites approve of the specific immigration policies he outlined last Thursday, as do a plurality of people ages 18-34. Forty-seven percent of people in that group approve, compared to 31 percent who disapprove.

Under pressure from Senate Democrats, some of whom were locked in tough re-election campaigns, Mr. Obama delayed announcing his executive actions until after the midterm elections, in which many incumbent Democrats ended up losing anyway.

Overall, 44 percent approve of how Mr. Obama is handling his job as president, compared to 53 percent who disapprove.

About half — 48 percent — say Mr. Obama has gone too far in expanding the power of the executive branch, 29 percent say he’s been “about right,” and 21 percent say he hasn’t gone far enough.

Those numbers mirror ratings for President George W. Bush in June 2006, when 48 percent thought he had gone too far, 34 percent said he was about right, and 14 percent said he hadn’t gone far enough.

The survey of 1,045 American adults was taken from Nov. 21-23 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points for the whole sample.

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